Letter to my Solar Installer

I made up my mind to be firm. So I just sent my solar installer an e-mail…


Subject : Problems with installation at XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Date: 1st November 2011

Re: Contract for a solar photovoltaic system at XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Dear XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX,

On 22nd July 2011, I completed paying you a deposit of £ 2,980.78 on a solar photovoltaic system. You set an installation date of 25th August 2011, and demanded a second instalment of £ 5,216.37, which I paid on 5th August 2011. You are in possession of £ 8,197.15 of my money.

However, despite this fact, and despite having rebooked my installation date for 13th September 2011, it is now 1st November 2011, and I still do not have a solar photovoltaic generating system installed on my roof.

I don’t know of any other business where people are asked to put down this kind of money so far in advance of receiving the actual goods. I understand that there have been problems with sourcing the components of the solar system design we agreed on, and I have been patient, not wishing to ruin your supply chain finances. However, I am now no longer patient, and I will no longer accept delays.

Having missed all the benefits of solar power during the summer, I now find that the UK Government has decided to pull the rug out from underneath the home solar industry on 12th December 2011, and that I am at risk of missing all the benefits of the full rate Feed in Tariff, as outlined in our contract of July. I would be happy to agree with you an alternative solar system design from parts you can more easily get hold of, if it means that you can help me meet the full feed-in-tariff deadline.

You have asked me to accept an installation date of 18th November 2011. I need you to know that if I do not have a working solar system of an appropriate design for the Feed in Tariff on my roof by the close of business on 18th November 2011, and I do not have a green MCS certificate in my hand from you, and the intaller certificates on that same date, I shall consider you to be in breach of our contract, and I shall be demanding the return of my deposit and second instalment, in full, to be in my bank account by 21st November 2011.

A copy of this letter will be sent to my democratic representative.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Regards,

Jo Abbess


I received an Out of Office e-mail reply, so I immediately phoned the office to see if anybody was actually still in work.

The helpful office manager said, “Is that Jo ? Your parts will be delivered on Wednesday”. “But”, I said, “the engineer told me that the parts would be delivered today, Tuesday. That’s already another delay…”

And then I heard those ominous words. “Sorry. Can we call you back later ? We’re all just about to go into a meeting…”

19 thoughts on “Letter to my Solar Installer”

  1. I don’t know what due diligence you did before choosing your contractor but you appear to have employed a “cowboy”. Most reputable companies want an upfront deposit of 20 – 25%, with the balance paid when the installation is complete and commissioned.

  2. By the way we paid a deposit for our system on the 8th August, the system was installed and commissioned over a 48hr period and we paid the final bill on the 12th September

  3. I would chase this up EVERY day….
    Refund or product ASAP..

    Warning signs company going bust, perhaps..
    Get your product or money out.

  4. What a shame that you have paid all that money and could miss out on this renewable energy scam, which is taking money from those who can least afford it, namely those in fuel poverty, such as pensioners. My heart bleeds for you. Look on the bright side – you may have averted one excess winter death.

  5. Nice to see that your morals are such that you’ll willingly contribute towards fuel poverty, by supporting this iniquitous scheme.

  6. I’d have willingly paid £8000 to get solar panels if I had a house to put them on and I had £8000. I think it’s very important that we do our bit to save the planet. You must have a very good job Jo to be able to spend £8000 on solar panels. So I expect you’ll have another £8000 to spare if this year’s £8000 goes down the pan (hope it doesn’t!). I know you’ll keep fighting for us Jo, because although we don’t have our own houses we still need our bills to come down. Good luck with your work on our behalf.

  7. So, getting the poor, unemployed and pensioners pay for your electricity bills via the solar feed-in tarrif seems to be a good idea to you.

    One can only wonder what fate lies in store for those that don’t particularly wish to subscribe to this somewhat totalitarian concept.

  8. So, saving the planet comes a poor second to making money via the feed in tariff ……… very noble (?).

  9. It’s so sad [cough] to see that what’s happening to you Jo, is the same as what’s happening to those of us that refuse to participate.

  10. To All My Detractors

    1. I borrowed the money

    By borrowing money to spend on a solar photovoltaic system, I am personally reinvigorating the economy.

    For the last few years, I have been a research student, working part-time for a small national charity that nobody’s heard of, and fulfilling family duties.

    I’m definitely not in the “moneyed” class.

    2. Energy is the only significant investment sector left

    The British economy is so worn out that there is nothing left worth investing in apart from energy.

    The property bubble has properly burst. The manufacturing sector has gone away. The financial services sector is hanging on by its fingernails over a deep, deep ravine.

    If Britain is going to build itself out of the recession, it needs something it can grow that is useful.

    Building things like nuclear power, or Carbon Capture and Storage are giant construction projects riding on the back of white elephant energy technologies. People sell their virtues, but the reality is that they are slow to maturation, and of uncertain utility.

    Carbon-intensive energy must be wound down. Yet the country is still energy-dependent. Therefore, renewable energy technologies are where all investment and deployment should be taking place.

    3. Solar power can cure fuel poverty

    By putting in place more renewable energy capacity : wind, solar, wave, biogas and so on, everybody benefits, even those not in receipt of the Feed in tariff. This is because renewable energy displaces carbon energy. And carbon energy is going to get progressively more expensive. Plus, in the United Kingdom, there is an ongoing energy imbalance – the country is progressively importing more and more energy and exporting less. The UK needs its own indigenous energy supply to keep household energy bills reasonable.

    So, you see, by putting up a solar PV system, I am helping people stay out of fuel poverty.

  11. “Energy Change for Climate Control”

    Jo, I have to say I’m impressed, you can control the climate now?

  12. Serves you jolly well right.

    Did you bother to find out where your “green” PV cells were being produced?
    Let me guess….chiner!

    Land of the worlds largest eco polluter, entire swathes of land rendered unfit for life due to people like you , Jo Abcess attempting to pig out on “feed in tarifs”….so much for the planet, all youre into is lining your own pocket.

    Hope they go bust and you lose all the blood money you gave em, couldnt happen to a nicer econutter.

    Oink Oink.

  13. We should all make a donation for Jos loss – Oh wait we’ve already done that it’s called our…… electric bill!!

  14. You’r right, we need our own indigenous energy supply, and we have got it under us in shale gas.

    Over 200 years, we have only mined 20% of our coal reserves.

    I have installed a PV array for only one reason – “if you can’t beat a racket then join it”.

    The whole renewables campaign is an absolute disgrace, and to say that you are helping people out of fuel poverty is a bad joke. Do you not know that conventional back-up generators have to be kept spinning in case the wind drops, or the sun goes out, say at night? Or that wind turbines draw power from the grid when they are not turning? So if the UK is under a big anticyclone- not unusual in a cold January- the maximum load on the grid is more than if there was not a single turbine.

  15. @RichardRoscoe

    Shale Gas is not an optimal choice for the United Kingdom. Energy conservation would be cheaper and less environmentally damaging. Plus, the period for which Shale Gas could contribute is short. What is needed is a longer-term solution.

    Shale Gas engineering seems to be just a wheeze to get business for American companies.

    Coal-burning for electricity generation should be and will be banned, although the UK might continue to use a certain amount of coal for small scale household or community space heating, mixed in with biomass. Carbon Capture and Storage is expensive and uses too much coal fuel. Coal resources are dwindling fast on the global level.

    Carbon Capture and Storage appears to me to be just a scam by the oil and gas companies to get money from governments.

    I fully understand about the need to back up renewable generation. The way this will be done is firstly through conventional gas power plant, and then after a period of transition, renewable gas power plant. Nuclear power cannot back up renewable generation because it’s not economically switch-off-and-on-able, so is practically useless.

    The anti-renewables lobby is documented as partly funded by the nuclear power companies, and I suspect their “support” amounts to a large proportion of the total amount spent attacking sustainable energy.

  16. Who in their right mind pays for these services in full up front?

    It beggars belief, it really does.

    I suggest that in future you consult with a responsible adult before embarking on any further hairbrained steps to save our fragile planet.

    Oh and [questionable idiomatic term deleted] to be you for missing out on the feed-in tarriff err, I mean for being unable to play your part in “fighting” climate change.

  17. Sorry to hear that you’re missing out on the ‘Robin Hood in reverse’ arrangement which is/was the solar energy Feed In Tariff scam.
    Something which you may be able to help me with, though – as I’m sure you looked into the business thoroughly – how much energy do solar panels produce during the twelve hours a day of darkness..?
    Just a word to the wise, though – think carefully before parting with any money to chatty Irishmen who offer to mend your roof or resurface your driveway – they may not be all they seem…

  18. Sorry, Jo – I just read your 7th November/10.45 response properly…
    You – er – BORROWED the money..??
    Oh…. dear….

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